The Norlands Receives $150,000 Matching Gift Challenge

At the Washburn Norlands, we’re seeing double in 2024 – thanks to a generous Washburn Family Member, who has pledged to match every dollar donated to the Norlands, up to $150,000.

“This unprecedented gift shows the confidence efforts to reinvigorate the Norlands have garnered from the Washburn family. It is a powerful incentive for others to contribute, as their donations will go twice as far in supporting the Norlands’ mission and success,” said Ashley Heyer, Board President and a descendant of E.B. Washburne. “From community outreach through events to our Farm-to-Table dinners to our Living History Days to our school field trips and group tours, the Norlands is committed to strengthening the Jay, Livermore and Livermore Falls area and welcoming people from around the world to experience a simpler way of life.”

The Washburn Norlands Living History Center provides a glimpse into the past, showcasing the history and heritage of rural 19th-century New England. The property, with its buildings and farm, offers a hands-on learning experience for visitors, allowing them to understand and appreciate the challenges and way of life of that era. 

Since 1808, Washburn Norlands has been the home of the descendants of Israel Washburn, Sr., whose children included four congressmen, two governors, two ambassadors, one Senator, a Civil War Captain, an Civil War General and the founders of Gold Medal flour and Pillsbury flour.  The Norlands estate included a stately Victorian country mansion with farmer’s cottage, a gothic style granite library, a Universalist meetinghouse, a one-room schoolhouse, an expanse of picturesque working farmland, 400 acres of historic trails and an expansive archive of 19th century documents and ephemera. 

“This gift allows us to expand our signature living history educational programs schoolchildren from across Maine have experienced over the past 50 years, improve access to our trails, embark on new natural history initiatives, preserve our historic buildings and ensure that our unique 19th century archive in the Washburn Memorial Library remains available for research and exploration,” said Heyer. “Plus, if the $150,000 goal is fully met, the donor has committed an additional $100,000 for a major project to be announced soon.”

When the campaign is completed, this donation will be the largest individual contribution in Norlands history. It comes on the heels of a major federal grant to restore the Washburn Memorial Library and the Meeting House.   

To donate to the Norlands – and have your contribution doubled – go to or mail a check to Washburn Norlands Foundation, 290 Norlands Road, Livermore, ME  04253.  At the Norlands, all donors are our members so contributions also include benefits including free admissions, discounts at the gift shop and more.  Businesses interested in event sponsorships should contact us at

Sustaining Memberships and higher include:

  • Free admission for 4 household members for 12 months
  • 20% off General Admission for accompanying friends & family 
  • A 10% discount in the Norlands Gift Shop  
  • A 10% discount on Farm-to-Table meals 
  • A Vote at the Washburn-Norlands Foundation annual meeting
  • Invitations to historical presentations on zoom and in person throughout the year
  • NARM Museum Admissions Benefits including free or discounted admission to over 1200 museums and cultural organizations through the North American Reciprocal Museum (NARM) Program. Visit for the latest list of participating NARM organizations.